Tributes to the military have long been portrayed on covers of The Saturday Evening Post, from situations serious to humorous. In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to share some of our favorites.
The first Post military cover? An action depiction of U.S. soldiers on horseback in the Philippines.
He’s in the Army now. A seldom seen cover from December 1942 by John Atherton shows a faithful dog and a photo. From the uniform, we can guess where its master is. We hope he returns home soon – Spot is itching to go hunting.
The enlisted also included members of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), as shown in the cover from 1942 by an artist named Gilbert Bundy.
A WWI soldier shares a humble Christmas meal in this endearing 1917 cover by the prolific J.C. Leyendecker.
On the May 14, 1927, cover by E.M. Jackson, this sailor accomplishes an important mission overseas — finding a genuine American hot dog!
Celebrating soldiers, sailors, and marines, the 1937 cover by John Sheridan captures all three with a parade below in their honor.
Norman Rockwell honored the military during the WWII years with several covers of the “every soldier” he named Willie Gillis. We’ve shown Willie’s military adventures before, but not this one from 1941. Rockwell’s famous private is home on leave, snuggled under the quilts and enjoying the luxury of sleeping late. The sign above the bed echoes our ardent wish for all our military men and women: Home Sweet Home.
After Forest Gump, actor Gary Sinise became an advocate for wounded soldiers. Check out Jeanne Wolf’s interview with Sinise from the September/October 2014 issue here.
“Woman Gets Bob at Barbershop” – E.M. Jackson
Females these days think they can waltz into a man’s territory and get their hair bobbed! What next? In this case the cover is from Country Gentleman (a sister publication to the Post) from 1925. Waiting impatiently (notice the pocket watch) is a disapproving customer.
“Couple in Barber Chairs” – E.M. Jackson
The same artist, E.M. Jackson, did this charming cover for the Post five years later. Seems as though they’re examining their new dos, but look at their mirrors. They’re checking each other out!
“Bernice Bobs Her Hair” – Coles Phillips
Alas, this lovely lass is having haircut remorse. Artist Coles Phillips worked mostly for Life magazine, but a few of his lithe beauties graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post.
“Comical Haircut” – Howard Scott
Talk about haircut remorse! Really, the client can get carried away with comics, but the barber is another matter altogether. The style and humor of this 1943 cover suggests Norman Rockwell, but it was by an artist named Howard Scott. However, this was the issue that introduced Rockwell’s famous Four Freedoms paintings.
“Barber Getting Haircut” – Stevan Dohanos
Stevan Dohanos was a great artist who did over 120 Post covers, and this was his barbershop in Westport, Connecticut. “A half dozen other well-known illustrators get their hair cut” in this shop, the editors noted, “which will surprise a good many, who might suppose that a barber in an artist’s colony would starve to death.” How would the local barbers like the cover, speculated our sassy editors? “Dohanos’ next haircut will tell.”
Questions and comments about Saturday Evening Post covers are always welcome.
There is an up side to winter weather – looking at it through a window from the inside, as these covers from 1925 to 1962 show.
These are my favorite windows applications.
By the Fire – Walter Humphrey
This was the last of seven Post covers by artist Walter Humphrey from 1921 through 1934. Although he was known for his beautiful paintings of the colonial era, his Post illustrations show more modern topics, such as his 1923 covers of a boy practicing his putting and a young lady speeding in her roadster. This cozy cover of man and best friend by the fire makes me want to build a fire and veg out.
Snowy Night – E.M. Jackson
This lady is also warming herself by the fire while the weather outside is frightful. Her lovely fringed shawl is a treat. Artist E.M. Jackson did nearly fifty-eight covers for the Post and Country Gentleman, often with an architectural feature such as this beautiful window. There was a reason for that: the artist graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in architecture.
Rain and Melting Snow – George Hughes
The people looking out this window regret that it is NOT snowing. Instead of the ten-inch base with an anticipated two inches of new powder, the thermometer took a turn for the warmer, melting the snow instead of adding to it. Artist George Hughes was a big name in Saturday Evening Post covers, doing 115 great ones. If you’re into skiing history, another big name was Austrian skier, Sig Buchmayr. He’s the dark-haired man in the red sweater among the would-be skiers here.
Birdtalk – Gyo Fujikawa
Is the budgie in the cage longing to be out or is the wren out in the winter weather thinking that cozy cage looks good? Well, the grass is always greener…even if it is covered with snow. In spite of her Japanese name, Gyo Fujikawa (1908-1998) was an American artist well known for children’s book illustrations and one lovely Saturday Evening Post cover. Another claim to fame: she was the artist behind the adorable round-faced Eskimo child on Eskimo Pies (which sounds darn good right now, even if it is cold outside). When this cover ran in 1962, Post editors noted that the original had been stolen. I haven’t been able to find out if it was ever recovered, so if anyone out there knows, e-mail me! ([email protected]). And yes, reprints are available at www.curtispublishing.com.
Snow Birds – Charles A. MacLellan
In spite of the fact that artist Charles A. MacLellan did over fifty colorful covers for The Saturday Evening Post between 1912 and 1936, I can find virtually no information on him. Until someone kindly enlightens me about this artist, I’ll just enjoy covers like this pretty lady making sure the snow birds have enough to eat. If you have a question on a Post cover, drop me an e-mail or comment below.